Employers are looking to hire candidates who are skillful, talented and confident. A confident candidate makes for a confident employee who is willing to ask questions, develop knowledge, take risks, and can grow into a good leader over time. It is important that you are able to demonstrate your confidence while being polite and professional in an interview setting. Your body language is as important as anything you say in demonstrating confidence. In this article, we discuss some easy – but commonly missed – opportunities to make a confident first impression in an interview.
Mastering the Handshake
Typically, every interview starts and finishes with a handshake. It is difficult to overstate the importance of a firm and confident handshake. A handshake will set the tone of the meeting. You should always wait for the interviewer to initiate the handshake. When the interviewer leans in to shake your hand, you should respond with similar enthusiasm and offer a firm but not aggressive handshake. A firm handshake (without crushing the interviewer’s hand) shows confidence. It makes a much better first impression than a limp handshake.
Watch Your Eye Contact
Making eye contact during an interview is another crucial part of making a confident first impression. The candidates who actively try to avoid eye contact by looking away or looking down towards the floor project the impression of a lack of confidence. While eye contact is a highly effective way of communicating confidence, too much eye contact can be uncomfortable for the interviewer and can be misinterpreted as staring. So how does one know what is the right amount of eye contact? Like many other behavioral questions, there is no single right answer. Typically, a safe bet is for a candidate to try to match the eye contact habits of the interviewer. The right amount of eye contact and a pleasant smile on the face which invites conversations goes a long way in making a confident and positive first impression in any interview.
Listen to Your Voice
Last but not the least, it’s important to pay attention to your voice level. Finding and sticking to a good level is another important part of an interview which will help show confidence. As with the eye contact, you don’t want to be too loud or too quite. If you are overly loud, you may come across as disrespecting or even aggressive. If you mumble, the interviewer may have a hard time hearing you and all the good points you have to make. Usually it is a good idea to match the interviewer’s voice level, using that as a guide throughout the interview process.
In an interview setting, it is often hard to remember and notice whether you are making sufficient eye contact or not, or if your voice is at an appropriate level. The important thing to remember is to be confident. Remember that the hiring manager is talking to you because you may have the skills and experience that the organization needs. Be confident and put your best foot forward.
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